WRITTEN BY: STEPHEN A. KELLERMAN
I went 3-1 last week for the opening round of the playoffs. Salute to the Grizz for taking down the Knicks in what was an incredible game! This week is going to be interesting and I am here to raise some eyebrows for real. Let us get down to business.
7:00PM BOBCATS vs WARRIORS
BOBCATS + 40 – This match up features the #1 seed in the Bobcats facing the #16 seed in the Warriors. Unfortunately for the Warriors...this is too much for them to handle. Let's face it, no one in the league would be crazy enough to think the Warriors have a shot against the Bobcats (other than the Warriors and even that isn't guaranteed) and whoever does think that...well they need to get drug tested IMMEDIATELY and banned from talking or even thinking about basketball. Let’s show a little respect in the name of competition and give the Warriors a chance...so I give them 0.000000063% chance of winning. My message to Wilbert and company would be to fight like hell and go out swinging like Warriors would. Just play hard till the final buzzer and hope that you do not get blown out of this game in the first half (for the sake of the fans in attendance). The Warriors have not beaten one single playoff team all season long! That is a fact...zero wins against the top 16 teams in ETBL. All of their wins came against non playoff teams and so this will not be an easy task to say the least but as Kevin Garnet once said...ANYTHINGGGGGG IS POSSIBLEEEE! My message to the Bobcats is go easy on them as there is no extra reward in slapping a 16th seed team but GM Omar is probably looking to establish a playoff intensity and does not want to have his team play with their food.
8:00PM JAZZ vs PISTONS
PISTONS + 11 – The Pistons ended the regular season as the 5th seed while the Jazz ended the season as the 12th seed. Both teams did not match up in the regular season so the match up is definitely going to be interesting. Multiple sources have confirmed that the Jazz are dealing with injuries that may cost them on Sunday. The Pistons team on the other hand are rolling and I expect a monster performance from Big Mike as he makes his ETBL playoff debut. Although Big Mike's contributions have been big (no pun intended)...the contributions of Kendell Wilson cannot be understated as he will look to score and impose his will all game. The Pistons play a smart brand of basketball that suits their roster and the Jazz will need to be on point if they want to have a chance. Jazz play hard and injuries are apart of the game but GM Brett needs to impose the next man up mentality. Pistons will be too big and too smart for the up and coming Jazz squad.
9:00PM KINGS vs ROCKETS
ROCKETS + 8 – This will be a great game for real. Rockets had a remarkable season and earned the 4th seed whereas the Kings ended the season as the 13th seed. These two teams played each other on the final game of the regular season with the Rockets winning by +8. I expect the same result as the Kings have a tough task ahead of themselves. Duzan struggled last game and I feel as if the Rockets can keep sending multiple high quality defenders at him throughout the whole game. I wouldn’t rule out the Season 5 MVP but he has a tall task ahead of him. The Kings will need to contain Roshane as he will look to get his and then hope the rest of the squad are missing from the outside. Rockets seem overly confident and they should be with the talent they have. I don't have them as a true Championship contender but they are knocking on the door. They first need to get past this obstacle and then make sure they are hitting their stride at the right time.
10:00PM HEAT vs HAWKS
HEAT + 12 – Two of the most interesting teams in the league square off in the last game of the first round. The Heat earned the 6th seed and the Hawks ended the season as the 11th seed. Both teams have history as they played each other on Feb 27th with the Heat blowing out the Hawks. I expect the Heat to take care of business and move on to the next round but I don't believe it will be a blowout. They got a very favorable matchup as the Hawks are undersized and will look to use their speed and athleticsm more. But at the end of the day...Nidun and company are going to be too much for the young Hawks. GM Mithun and the rest of the squad can start booking your tickets to Cancun (use promo code: Heat to save 20%).